For the past two months I have been having a hard time coming up with stuff to blog about. Not that there isn’t a lot of stuff going on that I can talk about. It’s just that I really tired of hearing about it all, not to mention having to blog about it. I could blog about poinsettias and how to take care of them, but at this point, if you don’t know that, you’ve probably already killed it. I could start in on spring, but it will be here before I know it so there’s no need to rush.
Instead, here are some completely random thoughts:
The Auto Industry bailout — let ’em file bankruptcy. A company cannot operate in the long term with a broken business model. Bailing out the auto industry without changing anything will solve nothing. Any company that expects to be around next year (i.e. be profitable) has to be able to produce a product that people want at a price that is competitive with similar products. Do you think that the 2009/2010 models will be any better than the 2008 models? Not likely. They will still be producing cars and trucks that people do not want to buy. What about the nearly 300,000 auto workers that will be out of work? They should have thought of that when they decided not to take a wage reduction to continue to operate. There is a market for cars in this country, but it will take some serious changes to the Big 3 before they are able to capitalize on it. What I would like to see is new smaller niche auto makers enter the market. Once that happens we will see some significant innovations in over all design, fuel mileage, engine performance and alternative energy options.
The Movies – due to having a movie buff work for me a few years ago, I have taken to watching the entertainment industry news. Now, I’m not talking about celebrity gossip, but instead, what movies are being "green lit" and what movies are in production and so on. All the experts are saying that 2008 was a terrible year for movies. I couldn’t tell you much myself. The only two movies I saw were Indiana Jones and Iron Man. Indiana Jones was awfully disappointing, but Iron Man was pretty good. I still haven’t seen Dark Knight, but it comes out on PPV on the 26th. The past few years of movies have been disappointing in my opinion. Of all the movies that have come out, there are only about 2 or 3 a year that are worth paying the money to go see. I am looking forward to a few movies next year like Wolverine, Star Trek and the next Harry Potter. You can check out what’s coming out next year at Rotten Tomatoes and yes I like sci-fi but I absolutely draw the line at the Klingon outfit.
The Economy – stop listening to the news. The media makes things sound ten times worse than they actually are. Remember that selling news is a business, and that business has to have headlines to get people to tune in and watch. Back to the economy – I am somewhere between Classical and Keynesian in my view point of economics. Part of me thinks that the government should not interfere and let the market adjust naturally while part of me sees the need to make changes to policy and others components to help keep thing moving in the right direction. Overall I feel a hands off approach is best with minimal interference from the government and let the markets adjust themselves. Having said that I know that the government will insist on interfering, but at what cost to the tax payers? They cannot keep bailing industries out and having the tax payers foot the bill. As I type this the Fed just cut the Fed Funds rate to .25% the lowest ever in the Fed’s 95 year history. So what happens if that doesn’t help? They can’t go much lower. The other options available are to increase government spending and/or decrease taxes both of which will be dependent upon Obama’s fiscal policy. BUT if you increase government spending and/or cut taxes AND have a gazillion dollar deficit, who’s going to pay for it all? The math just doesn’t work. (Macroeconomic image provided by wikipedia.)
The Poinsettia Season – from what we are hearing from the garden centers poinsettia sales are flat. Some are up while others are down. One customer cut over 1000 pots from their order. Overall for us, out poinsettia sales were up about 20% over last year, but we did not sell all that we grew. We did sell out of the larger sizes and of the the none-red colors in out #6, but we did not sell all of the #6 Red and Maroon that we grew. We also got stuck with a few of the small #4.5’s after some customers cut their orders. So what to do about next year? Right now we plan on cutting back production to a 100% sell-through level. I guess we’ll see how that shakes out over the next few months. We will have to book the cuttings in April. Also here is a link to Today’s Garden Center State of the Industry article. No poinsettia picture this time. I’m tired of looking at them.
Mums – speaking of booking cuttings, our EOD deadline for mums is the end of this month. Anyone have a crystal ball they can loan me?